Opposing a plea by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), which has sought release of its member Siddique Kappan, the Uttar Pradesh government has sought to link him to the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and has told the Supreme Court that he went to Hathras on the “instructions of” Delhi riots case accused Md Danish.
In an additional affidavit filed in the top court, the state government also questioned the bona fides of KUWJ, and accused it of “trying to trying to cover up/hide” Kappan’s “true identity”.
It contended that there is a “strong likelihood” that Kappan would go “underground” if granted bail at this stage, when investigation is still pending.
Alleging that Kappan is not assisting the investigation, the State said he is not “disclosing his social media accounts, passwords and details associated with the same in order to conceal his misdeeds”.
The KUWJ’s petition stated that Kappan has more than 10 years of experience as a journalist and was on way to Hathras to report on the alleged gangrape and death of a Dalit girl when he was picked up by UP Police in Mathura on October 5.
Stating that Kappan “has been found associated with Popular Front of India (PFI)”, the UP government stated that PFI “has been responsible for disrupting public peace of the State by provoking class and caste conflicts with an intention to destroy public order and tarnish the image of the Government by inciting hatred, contempt and dishonor to the Government. PFI has been involved in anti-national activities and keeping links with terror outfits like ISIS.”
“Several cases” are registered against PFI members and activists, who have also been chargesheeted in Kerala, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country, according to the affidavit, filed by Special Secretary, (Home), UP.
It stated that “as per investigation till date, most members of PFI who are ex-office-bearers of “banned organization SIMI” have been in close intimacy with Kappan. “Several incriminating evidence have been found from the house of the accused Sidhique Kappan during search conducted on 11.11.2020…. These documents disclosed crucial information/journey of the very formation of PFI as a reincarnation of SIMI after it (SIMI) being banned, also that the motive and ideology of both organizations are corroborative in nature,” the state government said.
The affidavit stated that “investigation has revealed that” Kappan and his co-accused “were mobilized towards Hathras upon instructions of Md. Danish, who is himself accused in the Delhi Riots case”, and that “Rauf Sherief, General Secretary of CFI (Campus Front of India) was facilitating the movement”.
CFI members Atiqur Rahman (25), Masood Ahmed (26) and Alam (26) were arrested along with Kappan.
The state Home Department stated that Rehman was also wanted in a case registered at Muzaffarnagar station, and that “Danish and Rauf Sherief were continuously in touch with…Kappan and other co-accused through cell phones, which were recovered by police from the vehicle being used by the accused on way to Hathras on 05.10.2020”.
It stated that Kappan’s co-accused “Masood is being funded from PFI and its members bank accounts, the other co-accused Atiqur Rehman is being funded by Rauf Sherief…who have received crores of funds from various national and international suspicious sources”. It said Kappan’s “State Bank of India account also reflects various suspicious cash deposits on numerous occasions, and the same is under investigation”.
The affidavit said Kappan is “closely associated and has been in frequent connection through social media and telephonic conversations with PFI members holding various portfolios across the country…most of whom have also been executive members of the banned Terrorist organization SIMI. Investigation has also revealed that accused Sidhique Kappan is not only involved in hatching a design to commit cognizable offence to disrupt public order and peace but is also a master mind having links with various unfortunate riots, disturbing public tranquility nationwide.”